Vertigo Comics have made a massive impact over the past 25 years, and they certainly deserve to be commemorated. To do so, Brad Gullickson and Kieran Fisher have put together an outstanding selection of titles – 25 in total – that represent the breadth, range, and quality of comics available through Vertigo.
With every great library comes exclusions that some may deem unacceptable – but such is the beauty of a library this big!
Hopefully, this collection will inspire you to discover new stories and characters or even take comics fans down memory lane as you recall all the fantastic entertainment Vertigo has provided us over the past two-and-a-half decades.
1. Scene of the Crime
If you love a good mystery, you must check out Vertigo Comics’ Scene of the Crime. This thrilling tale follows a detective hired to investigate a missing person case but soon uncovers more than he bargained for.
With its thrilling set pieces, unexpected twists, and captivating characters, this comic will keep you glued to its pages until the very last panel.
You’ll be taken on a wild ride as the detective dives deeper and deeper into the intricate web of tragedy and intrigue woven around him. Get ready to be immersed in suspense and mystery as the story unfolds, with each new clue uncovered along the way!
Dive in and discover what lies at the heart of Vertigo Comic’s Scene of the Crime stories!
2. The Exterminators
The Exterminators is one of the most intriguing stories of Vertigo Comics. It stars Henry James, an ex-convict who finds rehabilitation and a proverbial second chance through the Bug-Be-Gone extermination company.
As readers follow James’ journey, they uncover a vast and mysterious occult saga within this seemingly simple cockroach business.
The story progresses as the team discovers and experiments with their new Draxx formula, a deadly and potentially hazardous insecticide. Along with this discovery comes a mysterious box adorned in Egyptian motifs – and just what is that swastika doing on its side?
There are plenty of plot twists, unexpected turns, and strange characters along the way – all adding to an unforgettable tale of suspense unlike anything you’ve ever read!
Vertigo Comics’ Incognegro is an incredible standout of the bunch. Set in 1930s Mississippi, this comic follows a light-skinned black reporter who goes undercover to infiltrate racists.
This daring story centers on his identity crisis as he trades one exotic guise for another, risking everything for journalistic integrity and understanding of a treacherous time.
It focuses on much more rather than a commentary on racial politics.
Incognegro is a gripping and thought-provoking tale with fraught characters, tense moments, and beautiful prose that makes you contemplate the racism that still infests today’s world. It will stay with you long after you finish reading it, making it a must-read pick from Vertigo’s collection.
4. Area 10
Vertigo Comics series, Area 10, follows the story of a psychic New York City detective searching for a serial killer whose horrible habit is decapitating victims and keeping their heads.
Through supernatural visions and mysterious clues, this intrepid investigator delves deeper into a city of darkness, seeking justice for those taken by this madman but also uncovering secrets long forgotten by time.
This suspenseful thriller weaves through the streets and alleys of NYC as our protagonist follows every lead and suspends disbelief to find the killer. With a highly unique plot full of unexpected twists, Area 10 dives into the pursuit of justice in an otherworldly manner that keeps readers guessing until the end.
A must-read for any comic book fan.
5. Get Jiro
If you want to delve into the world of Vertigo Comics, one can’t help but mention the classic “Get Jiro!” A reinterpretation of Sci-Fi Yojimbo, this comic follows master chefs as megalomaniacal crime bosses in future cities.
How does one get a table at the best restaurants? Through a mix of kitchen combat and sushi diplomacy.
Jiro is no mere sushi maestro; he’s something much more severe. Armed with a creative vision for culinary excellence, he must manipulate hungry customers and inspire fealty in his kind.
Understanding when and what to consume is essential if you cross him—time your moves exactly right or suffer dire consequences! “Get Jiro” is the perfect addition to any Vertigo Comics collection.
6. Dark Night: A True Batman Story
“Dark Night: A True Batman Story” is one of the most powerful reads in Vertigo Comics. Written by Paul Dini, who worked on the renowned Batman: The Animated Series, this comic follows his experience of being beaten within an inch of his life when walking home after a wrong date. This series gives importance to creative energy.
Using iconic figures of the Dark Knight and his gallery of rogues, artist Eduardo Risso assists in creating an overbearing visual narrative that speaks to the power fiction can have over our reality. It’s a stirring tale that will tug at your heartstrings and remind you why we need Batman.
7. Sgt. Rock: Between Hell & A Hard Place
Sgt. Rock: Between Hell & A Hard Place is one of the best Vertigo Comics you’ll find. It’s a story about Rock and Easy Company during one of their most intense missions. Trapped behind enemy lines, they must clear their names in the murder of four German prisoners or be slaughtered.
This comic encompasses everything that makes Sgt. Rock great: courage, comradery, and a bit of humor sprinkled in throughout to keep the mood light despite the dire circumstances faced by Rock and his company.
If you’re looking for an exciting read with some classic Sgt. Rock action, then Sniper: Between Hell & A Hard Place is just what you need!
8. Sheriff of Babylon
If you’re looking for a compelling read that dives into the world of post-war Baghdad, then Sheriff of Babylon is the best series for comic book fans. Set in 2003, this Vertigo mini-series follows Chris Henry, an American military contractor tasked with training the Iraqi police force.
But when one of his recruits dies, Henry feels obligated to find out what happened. As he investigates further and deeper, it becomes apparent that there is more going on than meets the eye—perhaps the greater forces are at play.
With artwork by Tommy Lee Edwards and a story by Tom King, Sheriff of Babylon is sure to captivate its reader’s attention from start to finish.
9. House of Mystery
One of the most iconic series from Vertigo Comics is House of Mystery, a thrilling story about a group of people who find themselves stranded in an eerie house while waiting for a mysterious coachman to collect them.
With time on their hands, they fill it with passing the time by drinking at the house bar where their only payment must be stories told.
The mysterious stories range from horror and adventure to romance and mystery, which will keep readers hooked! Written by Matthew Sturges and drawn by Luciano Vecchio, this 10-issue collection follows the various characters as they try to uncover the secrets hidden within the walls of this haunted abode.
With captivating artwork and an engaging storyline that keeps readers on their toes, House of Mystery is one Vertigo Comic you won’t miss!
Hellblazer – a comic series that follows in the illustrious footsteps of John Constantine, the British occult detective and magician.
This spellbinding series pits Constantine against supernatural forces and the criminal underworld as he gambles with the powers of darkness – and his soul – to re-establish balance in an often chaotic world.
Savvy readers will delight in this titular hero’s charismatic wit, streetwise charms, and bold detective skills as he fights off both natural and supernatural threats from all sides!
Whether it be cursed, enemies from beyond the grave, or even just regular humans with dirty hands, don’t underestimate ol’ Constantine – he has tricks up his sleeve for anyone foolish enough to challenge him!
DMZ is one of the most powerful stories among all Vertigo Comics created by Riccardo Burchielli. Taking place in a ravaged post-apocalyptic New York City, this comic follows Matty Roth as he navigates through the chaos and destruction of the Second Civil War between the US and the Free States of America.
From struggling to survive to uncover untold secrets, DMZ provides readers with a trailblazing narrative that captures the reality of war in a modern urban setting. With powerful characters and captivating plot lines, DMZ is a fantastic read for anyone looking for a unique story from Vertigo Comics.
12. American Vampire
One of the best Vertigo Comics titles is American Vampire, an exploration of the evolution of vampires through history. It chronicles the story of Skinner Sweet and his descendants as they fight a new breed of vampires in America created by Scott Snyder.
The series features stories that span different eras, including stories set during the Wild West and Prohibition-era Chicago, making it one of the most exciting and unique titles available from Vertigo Comics. With compelling storylines, stunning art, and gripping suspense, American Vampire is one title you don’t want to miss!
13. Doom Patrol
The Doom Patrol is one of the most beloved and unique groups in Vertigo Comics. A group of misfits and freaks with various powers and strengths come together to save the world, despite all their differences.
Led by Dr. Niles Caulder – a wheelchair-bound scientist genius – they are tasked with facing perilous situations no other superhero team can handle.
The series first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80 in 1965 and has been adapted for television multiple times since then, most recently in 2019 in the critically acclaimed series on the DC Comics Universe subscription service.
The team consists of Robot (the robotic man), Negative Man (the radiation-infused superhero), Elasti-Woman (who possesses incredible elasticity powers), and Crazy Jane(with multiple personalities, each with their abilities).
From its inception, The Doom Patrol has been praised for taking risks that have changed the way we see superheroes – they are unlike any other superhero team out there, making them some of the most memorable figures in comic books today.
14. Sweet Tooth
“Sweet Tooth” – is an intense story about a father trying to protect his son from the horrors of the world overrun by human/animal hybrids. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, this book follows the journey of the father and son duo as they come to terms with the events that have transpired.
The comic is an immersive experience, full of emotion and drama, which readers will find easily absorbed. With plenty of action and suspense, “Sweet Tooth” is an unforgettable tale that will leave readers wanting more.
15. The Invisibles
The Invisibles is a groundbreaking series from Vertigo Comics about a strange group of heroes who fight against any power that might limit mankind’s potential.
This startling comic book follows King Mob and his rag-tag team as they question the establishment and defy convention.
King Mob is an enigmatic character whose exploits may be remembered for years. The story of The Invisibles starts with no one trusting anyone, not even their teammates – a sentiment that continues throughout the series.
As you enter the bizarre world created by Vertigo Comics, you can’t help but marvel at how avant-garde this comic was when it first came out. Whether or not you like superhero stories, The Invisibles will leave a lasting impression on your psyche.
Loveless is one of the best Vertigo Comics out there. Set in the aftermath of the American Civil War, it follows the story of Wes Cutter, a cowboy who has returned home to Blackwater, where he is met with the harsh realities of life in a former Confederate state.
Our hero takes up the sheriff badge and is forced to contend with Yankee Doodle Dandies and the hatred on both sides of this battle-torn landscape. And if that wasn’t enough, things heat up when Wes’s wife, Ruth, arrives on the scene!
It is an emotional and action-packed adventure filled with incredible visuals, deep characterization, and breathtaking artwork. If you’re looking for an engaging comic book experience, give “Loveless” a try – you won’t be disappointed!
Scalped is a fantastic Book from DC’s Vertigo label. This noir-style thriller follows undercover Native American FBI Agent Dash Bad Horse, who returns to his reservation to take down the corrupt sheriff who owns the land.
Dash must face off against the villains and lies that have been festering for years, all while trying to keep his demons at bay.
Full of twisty turns, mysterious characters, and intense tribal drama galore, Scalped is an incredible series with a strong story at its core. It’s worth checking out – if action comics are your thing, you will want to take advantage of this one!
18. Animal Man
One of the all-time favorite characters of Vertigo Books is Animal Man, brought to life through Grant Morrison’s creative genius.
Bernhard “Buddy” Baker may look like an ordinary man on the outside. Still, he has a superpower – the ability to borrow the attributes of animals and use them to get himself out of some pretty tough situations.
Whether it’s soaring across town with the swift wings of an eagle or hopping around like a kangaroo, Animal Man can change his form instantly to do whatever he needs to get himself out of danger.
In this exciting comic book series, readers will follow along as Buddy battles aliens, eco-terrorists, and even his Creator – Grant Morrison!
Sandman, also known as Dream of the Endless or Morpheus, is possibly one of the most powerful, mysterious, and iconic characters to ever be written within a Vertigo comic.
Sandman presents an ancient being who has exceeded even that of the gods in terms of power. As one of seven siblings who each embodies a different aspect of the universe, Sandman’s journey shows him traveling through time, and various realms as Sandman works to reclaim his kingdom after it has been taken by an occultist.
His tales have been some of the most influential comics in modern-day reading, making Sandman one of the best characters in Vertigo Comics!
20. Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing is one of the best DC comics, thanks to writers Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, and John Totelben. In this comic, we follow a humanoid swamp creature as he uses his powers for good and battles a wide range of evils throughout his original stories.
Swamp Thing was more than just a typical superhero or horror comic story; it transcended genre boundaries and showed what can be done when imagination and talent are combined to create something extraordinary.
Alan Moore created something unique with this comic series, giving readers an unforgettable experience that will remain with them for years to come.